Shawn Porter beats Danny Garcia by unanimous decision to win vacant WBC welterweight title

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Known for his mauling style that is often called dirty, Shawn Porter spent the past few months predicting he would show Danny Garcia something he had never seen before.

In a battle of former 147-pound champions, Porter did just that on Saturday by mixing an awkward storm of boxing and brawling to edge Garcia in a thrilling unanimous decision to claim the vacant WBC welterweight title in front of 15,038 fans at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Porter (29-2-1, 17 KOs), 30, targeted Garcia's body throughout and used constant feints to freeze and confuse his opponent in a classic example of high-speed chess that produced a standing ovation from the crowd. He took home judges' scores of 116-112 and 115-113 (twice). CBS Sports also had it 115-113 for Porter. 

"I tell people all the time, 'I don't make predictions,'" Porter said after the fight. "I made a prediction and a hard one to live up to. I said I wasn't leaving New York without this belt, and I'm not leaving New York without this belt."

Both fighters had entered the bout having lost hard-fought decisions to current WBA champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) over the past two years. But Thurman, who hasn't fought since edging Garcia by split decision 17 months ago, was stripped of his WBC title due to inactivity following shoulder surgery.

Thurman was booed throughout the night when he was shown on the big screen above the arena. IBF champion Errol Spence Jr. (24-0, 21 KOs), however, was showered with cheers including after the fight when he entered the ring to congratulate Porter and hype up the potential of a must-see unification bout between the two in 2019.

"The same way that you called Danny out, I'm going to call you out," Spence told Porter, referencing Porter's interruption of Garcia following his February knockout of Brandon Rios that put the wheels in motion for Saturday's fight.

"Do I look worried?" Porter responded rhetorically.

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Garcia (34-2, 20 KOs) controlled the early rounds with clean and hard counter shots as Porter began in an uncharacteristically passive style by not using his jab and circling from the outside. But once Porter made an adjustment in Round 4 and began to vary his style, the more he began to make Garcia think and lower his output.

"I knew he was going to be accurate," Porter said. "The game plan for me was to be accurate from the outside and show we could beat him without roughing him up on the ropes. He tried to out hustle me, mostly at the end of rounds. He did a tremendous job."

Porter outlanded Garcia 180-168, according to CompuBox, while Garcia held a 139-134 advantage in power shots in a 12-round fight that ultimately could've gone either way.

"I thought I did enough to win," Garcia said. "It was a close fight. The judges didn't give it to me. I busted my head on the inside, plus a couple headbutts on my nose. It is what it is, this is boxing. I have to sit back, relax and see what's next for me."

The majority of the late rounds were as close as they were fun as both fighters let it all hang out and traded heavy blows in the center of the ring. In many ways, the fight was reminiscent to the style, ebbs and flow of Shane Mosley's victory over Oscar De La Hoya in their epic 2000 welterweight title bout.

Porter closed in style by dominating the final round and mauling Garcia, edging him on all three scorecards.

"There was some things missing tonight and those aren't going to be there in the next one," Porter said. "It wasn't' necessarily about making it wild. My dad [trainer Kenny Porter] wanted me to stay consistent with the body work and stay consistent with the pressure."

Before Saturday, Porter last held a welterweight title in 2014 until he lost it to Kell Brook. It was Spence who stopped Brook in 2017 to win his first world title. Now, Spence looks forward to proving himself against Porter.

"I think I'm the best welterweight in the division," Spence said. "I'm the truth, and I guarantee you I come home as unified champion. I definitely want that fight against Porter.

"It was a good fight. Shawn looked like himself. I didn't see anything different in his style so we should combine to make an incredible fight. I'm ready for whoever's next: Mikey Garcia, Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman. I want any and all of them."

Campbell's Garcia vs. Porter scorecard


R1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12Total

Garcia

10

10

10

9

9

9

9

9

10

10

9

9

113

Porter

9

9

9

10

10

10

10

10

9

9

10

10

115

Garcia vs. Porter live coverage

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Brian Campbell covers MMA, boxing and WWE. The Connecticut native joined CBS Sports in 2017 and has covered combat sports since 2010. He has written and hosted various podcasts and digital shows for ESPN... Full Bio

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